Argentina blames US for debt woes, denies default

Argentina's Economy Minister Axel Kicillof speaks during a press conference at the Argentina Consulate in New York, on July 30, 2014Argentina blamed the United States for the legal battle that forced it to miss a debt payment and, despite ratings agencies’ declarations to the contrary, denied being in default. Ratings agency Fitch declared Argentina in “restrictive default” Thursday after 11th-hour talks failed to resolve the country’s dispute with two US hedge funds that refuse to accept a write-down on their Argentine bonds. Fitch’s label echoed the “selective default” declared Wednesday by Standard & Poor’s. Both terms indicate that Argentina has defaulted on one or more of its financial commitments but continues to meet others. US District Judge Thomas Griesa has blocked Argentina from paying its “exchange creditors” — those who agreed to take a 70-percent write-down after the country’s 2001 default — without also paying two American hedge funds that took it to court demanding full payment.

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